HC Deb 23 February 1922 vol 150 cc2095-6
36. Lieut.-Colonel BURGOYNE

asked the Prime Minister what Department is responsible for the Navy, Army and Air Force institutes; at whose instigation were they established; who is responsible for their control and management; when did they last issue a balance sheet; who bears any loss that may be incurred; and are they running at a profit at the present time?


I have been asked to answer this question, in regard to which I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the Report of the Committee presided over by my hon. Friend the Member for the Ecclesall Division of Sheffield and published in July last as Command Paper 1280. It is stated on page 4 of that Report as follows: In December, 1920, as the result of the recommendations of an Inter-Departmental Committee presided over by Sir Archibald Williamson, it was decided that a permanent central canteen organisation for the three Services was desirable, and that as the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Navy and Army Canteen Board were inadequate, a new body, with a new Memorandum and Articles of Association, should be set up, to be, like the Navy and Army Canteen Board, in form a company, trading not for profit, registered under the Companies' Act, and with the title of 'The Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes.' The ultimate control should be in thy hands of a council of twelve, representative of the three Services in equal strength. With regard to the last part of the question, the organisation is intended to be self-supporting, but it only came into being on 1st January, 1921, and, therefore, as stated in reply to previous questions, no balance sheet has yet been prepared.

Lieut.-Colonel BURGOYNE

Can the hon. Gentleman say when we are likely to have the balance sheet"


I cannot say.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that it is the usual thing in a commercial concern to issue a balance sheet within the first 12 months?

54. Viscount WOLMER

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction caused in business circles by the continuance of the operations on their present scale of the Navy and Army and Air Force institutes; that a resolution was recently passed at a meeting representative of 300,000 traders condemning the policy of the Government on this subject; and whether he is prepared to grant facilities for a discussion of this question in this House during the present Session?


I have seen the resolution referred to, but I regret that it will not be possible to allocate time for a discussion of this subject. An opportunity would arise, if desired, on the Estimates or on the Appropriation Bill.